December 2005

Babylon

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Balancing consumerism with the illusionary need to get things at an affordable cost. I think that I may have finally hit upon the point of the whole thing though, and despite the fact that this will not help my low to middle class life one bit, a conclusion is a conclusion, and in that it is an end.

Buying things from evil companies at a discount rate despite the fact that it might ease the monthly budget is evil. No matter how you choose to justify your financial existence, the fact of the matter is that if you buy from a company that chooses to exploit people around the globe, you are in fact injecting yourself into their exploitation.

So yeah, I'm pretty much talking about Wal Mart here.

I've shopped there, many a time, but the thing about research is that the more you know, the more you tend to realize that you just might be supporting something evil.

Now don't get me wrong, I have justified shopping at Wal-Mart and places like it in the name of the fact that I don't make much money and I have to take my breaks where I can get them. The bitch of it is the fact that when you take the time to learn at what cost you're getting those pants of $29 for, you start to feel a little sick with yourself.

Beyond the gross mistreatment of Wal-Mart's staff, you have to take into consideration the damage that these companies wreak on the third world countries they exploit to deliver their products at prices that you and I can enjoy and still afford a comfortable lifestyle.

Now I know that sounds like rhetoric, but here's the bottom line. These companies pay as little as twelve cents an hour to workers who work 60 hour work weeks in order to afford company housing (or apartments rather) that allow employees to be called in at a moments notice for overtime that doesn't exist.

Now I don't like having to say no to a night out as much as the rest of you, but the fact of the matter is that staying in for a night is a heck of a lot better than washing your clothes in the water reserve of a toilet because you can't afford to pay what they demand for laundry.

Which is what the people that make those discount priced products for you and I have to do.

So I'm going to do it. No more shopping there, despite the fact that I know damn well that I could probably save myself the money, my eyes have been opened and I don't want anything to do with the fact that some Asian family is not getting by on some sense of family honour and less than I pee in the value of water a day.

Despite the fact that my utilities are included.

So This Is Christmas...

I could be topical here, but I don't really want to. I could talk about Mr. O'Reilly and his love for the holid... er Christmas. I could talk about the need to buy something that has no intrinsic value as opposed to a gift that really matters, or I could talk about the you buy me or I won't buy you anything mentality that seems to be all to contagious these days.

But I won't.

There is something far more important to be discussed here.

And that is this issue of faux pets.

So I'm walking down the mall and I come across this stand. On one hand they peddle these puzzles that if you can solve in less than three minutes you get for free (which utterly defeats the point to me), and on the other they have these faux pets.

Which for the record look like nothing more than corpses of puppies and kittens. I given them points for the detail involved, they really do look like real puppies and kittens, but they are all sleeping and look utterly dead, and that is a whole new level of messed up. When you're selling stuffed animals as cute, that's one thing, but when you're selling stuffed animals that look dead as a low maintenance way to get around feeding them, that's pretty sad.

So yeah, creepy dead looking pseudo pets are not cool. I don't care how cuddly they are.